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Community Spotlight: Local College Student Shares Her Research at the Library


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You may have heard from some of the local residents that Conway is referred to as the “City of Colleges.” They’re not wrong! In fact, Conway is home to three of them: the University of Central Arkansas, Hendrix College, and Central Baptist College. Over the years, we’ve been proud to hold partnerships and work collaboratively with each institution, from co-hosting campus events to tabling booths at their career fairs. 


This time, we hosted a student from Hendrix at our main library. Grace Bryant, a senior at the College, presented research from her Odyssey Program project on climate change in Alaska. The Odyssey Program, Hendrix’s signature engaged learning program, is a tailored curriculum that all Hendrix students experience during their time there. Similar to a capstone or thesis project, students choose from at least three of six categories that include research proposals, co-curricular activities, completing course modules, and service-learning study abroad trips. 


With the supervision of her advisor, Bryant, a pre-med major, decided to use her Odyssey experience to conduct an independent study in Alaska that focused on the health-related issues caused by climate change that state residents faced. 


“I researched both the direct and indirect health threats of climate change, and how it has specifically impacted the communities here,” Bryant said. “In this way, I was able to not only link a topic I’m passionate about with my major, but use what I found to provide potential strategies to combat the effects of climate change for some of our most vulnerable environments.” 


According to her findings, the changing climate has brought an increase in allergies, respiratory illnesses, food spoilage, as well as unsafe toxins in food. It has also caused the forced relocation of towns and cities due to catastrophes like infrastructural damage and poor water quality. Potential solutions may include a carbon tax, greater investment in renewable energy sources, reforestation, and ocean alkalization, Bryant states in her presentation.



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Bryant got to speak with several patrons about her research and displayed books from our shelves on climate change. We were happy to host another accomplished student from one of our colleges and look forward to more future collabs! If you're interested in the subject yourself, take a look at our photos for some book recommendations below.


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View a summary of her work here: 

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National Write Your Own Story Day: Books for Aspiring Authors


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It turns out there’s quite a lot of “National Fill-in-the-Blank Days”, and a good number of them are applicable to books and libraries–we love that! March 14th just so happens to be National Write Your Own Story Day, so we’re not going to toss up the opportunity to share a blog post about this one. 


Whether or not you consider yourself to be a writer, everyone has a unique story to tell. Stories are the one thing everyone possesses that brings us all together, but stories are also the distinguishing factor that sets everyone apart. Stories serve multiple purposes: to entertain, to educate, to inform, and even to innovate. And at the foundation of each is imagination! National Write Your Own Story Day encourages people to feel inspired to share their stories, not just through writing, but through any medium that can be used as a form of self-expression. Since we’re a library, however, we’ll focus on writing. 


If you’re an aspiring author, or just like to write as a hobby but still want to refine your craft, we have cultivated a list of books from our collection that will not only help you become a better writer, but help you decide what genre of writing you’d like to pursue (if you’re unsure of that). Because why wait until NaNoWriMo in November when you can jumpstart your writing career now?


Take a gander at these latest books we have–some of which are for our young writers–on the written word, plus a few oldies but goodies: 



























This is a pretty hefty list already and since we can’t cover every kind of writing here, we recommend visiting the 808s in our nonfiction sections to find more books on the topic! These sections cover blogging and online writing as well!


Good luck, and happy writing!




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Program Spotlight: Gotta Catch 'Em All! Pokémon Day at the Library


If you think that libraries don’t do the most, think again. On March 4th, we hosted arguably the biggest, grandest event at the library that we’ve ever had: Pokémon Day! On this day around the world, fans of the franchise gather to channel their inner Trainer and celebrate the childhood nostalgia and pure fun it brings. With over 1,000 community members in attendance, Pokémon Day at the library became a record-setting program. 


The absolute best part? Veronica Taylor came to participate in the excitement. Yes, you read that right. The original voice actor of Ash Ketchum traveled all the way to Conway, Arkansas to do a meet and greet, lead an interview panel, and sell autographed merch. How many libraries can say that?! It’s not very often that celebrities come to the lesser-known parts of the country, and everyone was so ecstatic that she did!


Not to mention we got to partner with some incredible local businesses and organizations that donated supplies and helped us make this day possible: trading card store Trainer J’s, Isabell Creek Face Painting, packaging store Wonder State Box, Kawaii Boba House, and Haynes Ace Hardware. 


If you’re a fellow library programmer reading this, an event organizer at your job in need of ideas, or just a patron who missed out on the festivities, here’s a little “virtual tour” of every activity we did for this special day:


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Photo 1: Veronica Taylor herself posing with a patron! Of course Pikachu had to make an appearance too.

Photo 2: Veronica Taylor's autographed merch table! She had conversations with every person in line and wrote their names on the merch!










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Photo 1: Trainers had the chance to win grand prizes in a raffle after they correctly guessed each silhouetted Pokémon on the worksheet. 

Photo 2: One of our amazing library volunteers directed new Trainers to all the activities and let them choose swag bags full of goodies.










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Photo 1: Every successful event has a great photo op! 

Photo 2: We had a Pokémon gaming table in our juvenile section. These two young Trainers are playing Labyrinth!












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Photos 1 & 2: Patrons who participated in our Pokémon cosplay contest! They were all winners in our book!












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Photo 1: A creative Trainer shows off a completed Pikachu craft! He decided he wanted his Pikachu to be red and blue.

Photo 2: Two talented Trainers enjoy making Pokémon origami after getting their faces painted.









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Photos 1 & 2: Our patrons never ceaze to amaze us with their tiny art skills! Here we have PokéPaintings on mini canvases and paper stand-up centerpieces.






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Photo 1: A Trainer and his mom pose with their Pokémon bingo cards as Veronica Taylor calls out different Pokémon from the stage.

Photo 2: We have a winner!! Actually, more than one! Can you spot them all? 









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Photo 1: PokéMaster Trev brought his fantastic Pokémon creations using Perler beads!

Photo 2: A staff member from Trainer J's showcased some of their Pokémon trading cards!









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Photos 1 & 2: Patrons spotted wild Pokémon roaming the stacks and checking out tablets and took snapshots just in time!









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Photo 1: Our staff joined in on the cosplay fun! 

Photo 2: Our Pokémon card promos that we made to hand out to patrons prior to the big event!












If you want to see even more awesome photo and video content, go to our Instagram @faulknercountylibrary, where we have a highlight reel just for Pokémon Day. Gotta catch ‘em all, right? So create your own Pokémon-inspired event and give Veronica Taylor a call–she might just come to your city, too! 




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Today's Bestselling Female Authors in Honor of Women's History Month

In March we celebrate Women’s History Month, a movement that was spearheaded by the National Women’s History Alliance and gives recognition to the women, past and present, who have devoted their lives to producing art, pursuing the truth, and showcasing their talents to create a better world for all. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories”, with a focus on women who have been active in the multimedia industry: podcasters, pioneering journalists, teachers, playwrights, and many more. Through the accomplishments of influential women, the voiceless were given voices and a new wave of information and entertainment broke into the mainstream, reaching critical heights in the pathway to progress. The theme of 2023 goes hand in hand with what libraries strive to do–sharing stories that expand our understanding and strengthen our connections to each other. 


From the homemakers to the career movers and shakers, this blog post is an ode to all women through the sundry amalgamation of stories presented in 12 books. Featuring some of the most prolific women writers and profound characters of 2022 and 2023, these are the books that should belong on your TBR (To Be Read) list! 



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The Faraway World 

Patricia Engel, a Colombian-American writer who has been a Reese’s Book Club pick, shares a collection of short stories in this book set across the Americas, linked by the themes of class distinction, migration, sacrifice, and moral compromise. In her sensitive portrayal of human relationships, these stories highlight the vibrancy of community and the underrated, quiet moments of love that hold the power to change everything. 







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Someone Else's Shoes

This novel is about–you guessed it–walking in someone else’s shoes. What would it be like if two women of vastly different economic statuses were forced to swap lives? With a contemporary, relatable setting, this touching story gives thoughtful examination to the effects of depression and the complexity of family dynamics made with well-rounded, three-dimensional characters. This is a great read for fans of The Devil Wears Prada or the Finlay Donovan series!







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Old Babes in the Wood 

Written by internationally acclaimed dystopian author Margaret Atwood, this latest book makes a return to her short fiction for the first time since 2014. Filled with wit and intellect, the title story explores alienation and miscommunication with a classic folklore twist. At the heart of the collection are seven stories that follow a married couple across the decades, where the themes of uncommon love and loss are prominent, and what it means to work together to solve the question of what spending a life in unity looks like. True to her tone, this book brings readers both devastation and illumination.





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Enchantment: Awakening Wonder in an Anxious Age 

Author and podcaster Katherine May’s spellbinding self-help memoir shows readers how they can marvel at the goodness in the world during times of high anxiety and uncertainty. Full of inspiration for when you feel exhausted or directionless, this book–among her others–has been deemed a good read for women in their twenties and beyond who may be grappling with existential issues or who are overwhelmed in the grind of constant change. Blending lyricism and empathy, Enchantment reminds us of the magic that can always be found within the mundane. 





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*Strong Female Character 

Scottish comedian Fern Brady weaves an intertwining tale of womanhood and neurodiversity in this top-rated memoir about life after being diagnosed with autism. Using her voice as a working class woman, Brady challenges societal expectations placed on women and brings the conversation on domestic abuse and mental health to the forefront. This book comes with a healing message on traumatic experiences that’s full of sharp humor and unflinching vulnerability. 





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Carrie Soto is Back 


Taylor Jenkins Reid, a familiar favorite at our library, doles out another riveting beach read in this story of a tennis legend keen on defending her record and her legacy in the sports world despite pushback due to her age. This novel alludes to the double standards women can face for showing ambition and the determination to win when it comes to their goals. The moral of the story can best be summarized by the words of actress Michelle Yeoh, “don’t let anybody tell you you’re ever past your prime.” If you like historical fiction and epic heroines, this is the book for you!





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What My Bones Know 


Malaysian-American investigative journalist Stephanie Foo interviews scientists, tests out a variety of innovative therapies, studies the effects of immigrant trauma, and uncovers family secrets in this memoir about healing from and destigmatizing PTSD. Combining the topics of culture and race with mental health, this book is a brave narrative imbued with self-awareness on one woman’s ability to reclaim agency in her life and over her mind. 






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*The Illustrated Woman 


With her trademark infusion of wild adventure and vivid imagery, this stunning anthology by award-winning poet Helen Mort features a raw and honest collection that celebrates the beauty and resilience of women’s bodies. This book tells a tender story about the joys and struggles of being a woman throughout the different stages of life, from adolescence to motherhood. Insightful, confessional poetry like this will be sure to hit straight to the heart with its powerful prose! 
 





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American Mermaid 


Magical realism meets feminist literature meets so much more in this genre-defying debut novel about a writer determined to turn her mermaid story into a big-budget action film, who believes her character has come to life to take revenge for all of Hollywood’s violations. Facing pressure from a ruthless industry, this book follows a young woman in search of truth, love, and self-acceptance without compromising her integrity or giving up her voice in order to tell her own story.





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*Any Other City


Set to officially release on April 18, 2023, this unique novel by librarian Hazel Jane Plante is a two-sided fictional memoir of a punk musician who takes us on a personal chronological journey from fledgling artist (Side A) to semi-famous big city rocker (Side B), like a cassette tape in book form! This book is about finding your community, taking risks, and letting go of the past all in one iconic, intimate story. Masterfully depicting the plurality that is woven into the lives of trans women and said to be “a love letter to art”, this is a novel for our LGBTQ+ readers that you won’t want to miss! 





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After Sappho 

In this historical reimagining, women trailblazers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are given alternate timelines to their stories–ones where they battle for liberation, justice, and control over their lives and forge a new, independent path for themselves. Featuring Rina Pierangeli Faccio, Romaine Brooks, and Virginia Woolf as the main triad of characters, among many other notables, this book celebrates daring women of the past (with a twist!) and offers hope to the women of the present and future. 





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I’m No Philosopher, But I Got Thoughts 

All of the great thinkers of the world have written books on their discoveries and beliefs: Aristotle, Socrates, Voltaire–and now, Chenoweth. This autobiography by the beloved actress and Broadway star shares inspirational quotes, engaging prompts, and musings on creativity, connection, and closure. Full of lessons for personal growth and cheeky banter, this book is a perfectly pink pick-me-up for those who need a little laughter and encouragement!





*Please note: these books are not in our collection. If you’d like to read one of them, visit us at the front desk and we will submit a request to our cataloguer!




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