Ray’s Surface Noise – The Ellet Podcast



Since 2009, I have presented an 8-10 minute audio podcast featuring excerpts from new cd releases available at the Ellet Branch Library.  On Ray’s Listening Room I present music by artists that are not usually played on commercial radio.  While I do discuss mainstream artists on occasion, I mostly like to focus on lesser known artists that I feel create exceptional music—everyone from the alt-country leanings of Neko Case to the avant-pop sounds of the anonymous San Francisco art collective The Residents.

It’s unlikely many of these artists will get any real mainstream exposure or recognition, either by luck, or by the artists’ choice.  I certainly mean no offense to commercial pop or country music fans, but tune to any mainstream radio station and you can pretty much guess what you are going to hear.  There is A LOT more music out there than what gets played on commercial pop and country radio, which seems to be based more on market research and demographics than on exposing a variety of music to listeners.

That doesn’t mean, however, that if you listen to mainstream radio that you wouldn’t enjoy non-mainstream music.  If you like classic rock bands like The Who, then check out Dayton, Ohio’s Guided By Voices.  Although they just recently called it quits (again!), they’ve mixed pop, experimental and alternative music that is heavily influenced by 60s rock and 70s punk–often condensed into very short songs–since 1983.  If 1950s vocalists like Patsy Cline and Brenda Lee are your thing, you might try listening to Neko Case.  Although critics call her “alt-country”, she is influenced as much by punk rock and Neil Young as she is by traditional country music.  She also has an incredibly powerful voice.  If you’re into rock duos like The White Stripes and The Black Keys, be sure to check out Mates Of State.  They combine drums, keyboards and great girl/guy harmonies that are unique to indie rock.

Sometimes I might feature music by an artist from a different generation, like 1960s country star Skeeter Davis or 1950s pop vocalist Patti Page.  Even though they aren’t current, it’s fascinating to look back at artists from different eras, whether they were well known or not.  Not all of my choices are personal favorites–although many of them are—but I think it’s important to play music from a diverse selection of artists.  I see nothing wrong, or even unusual, about listening to everything from the ear-bleeding My Bloody Valentine to legendary jazz vocalist Anita O’Day.

New episodes are posted every other Monday morning.  Be sure to give it a listen!


Ray Carmen


National Grouch Day is October 15th


October 15 is National Grouch Day!  Celebrate with something fun!

Click here to hear the “Grouch Anthem” performed by none other than Oscar the Grouch himself!











Follow Us on Pinterest


Follow us on Pinterest!

Did you know the Ellet Branch Library is on Pinterest?  We have a variety of boards for readers, cooks or bakers, parents and more.  Some of the boards you will find on our Pinterest page include:


Book List Mania

This board features book lists galore.  There are lists for kids by age or grade, lists of books to take to the beach, lists of books that have been made into movies, lists of books to try if you liked a particular book,  lists of books for book clubs, and much, much, more.


Literacy Fun and Tips for Parents

On this board you will find ideas and strategies that you can use a home to help build reading skills in your kids.  There are games that you can make to play, activities that you can try, tips for how to read to and with your kids, and lists of books that can help get your kids excited about reading.



The Teen board has fun memes, booklists, quotes, and lots of random things teens will enjoy reading through.



The Holiday board features crafts and recipes with a variety of holiday themes.

Not sure what Pinterest is?

The best way to think of it is a visual way of organizing links to websites, posts, and pictures all over the internet.  Pinners (people who pin things to Pinterest) create boards to keep similar links together.  When you go to a board you will see lots of little pictures.  All the pictures represent a link to something on the internet.  Usually you can quickly tell what it is based on the picture.  Clicking on the picture once will make it bigger so you can see it better and read any description that the pinner may have added.  Click again and you will be taken to a website or blog where whatever was pinned was originally posted on the internet.  So, if you are looking at a recipe board and you click on a picture of a cake, clicking on the picture again should take you a website or blog post with the recipe for the cake.

You can view Pinterest boards without having an account of your own.  However, if you want to pin something, or ‘follow’ a board (which will show you any new posts that are added) you will need to create an account.

Click HERE to find us on Pinterest!

Happy Pinning!


Sensory Storytime



New at the Ellet Branch Library:

Sensory Story Time

This program offers educational, literacy and social opportunities for children of all ages with differing abilities, their siblings, parents/caregivers and their typically developing peers through the use of story, music and movement to engage the participants.


Sensory Story Time includes a schedule board, a consistent program plan at each location and sensory opportunities. A call to reserve a spot is appreciated but not required: 330-784-2019

Second Saturday of each month at 10:30

Sept. 13, Oct. 11, Nov. 8


Sensory Story Time will also be offered at other branch locations on varying Saturdays at 10:30.  Call the following branches for more information:

Firestone Park, Green, North Hill, and Northwest Akron




Check Out Our Book Bundles


Book Bundles

Have you ever heard of a book bundle or checked a book bundle out? If the answer to this question is yes than you know all about the book bundles here at the Ellet Branch Library, however, if the answer to this question is no than here is some information about them.

 Pre-Reading Book Bundles: These are 5 books that are wrapped together that showcase the 6 different elements of learning to read. These elements are: Letter Knowledge, Narrative Skills, Phonological Awareness, Print Awareness, Print Motivation and Vocabulary.

Fun Book Bundles: These are 6 books (usually 3 fiction books and 3 nonfiction books) wrapped together. These are books that are just fun to read. If you check one of these book bundles out expect a lot of fun and learning because that is what you are going to have while reading these books. The subjects can and will be about anything (i.e. space, military, animals, bugs, princesses and princes, cooking, jewelry etc.).

So come on in and check one out today! The book bundles are located on top of the picture book shelves in the children’s area. Who knows how much fun you will have while reading these books?


MetroParks Fall Hiking Spree


Need some incentive to keep walking since our Mind, Body & Sole program is over for this summer?  The Summit Metro Parks, one of our MBS partners, is one of the Akron area’s most accessible free resources, with walking and biking trails throughout the county, along with a variety of seasonal activities including fishing, boating, camping, and naturalist-led programs that entertain and educate all ages.  September marks the start of what may be their most popular event, the Fall Hiking Spree, which marks its 51st year rewarding walkers with hiking staffs and shields to commemorate their efforts.

Want to learn more about the parks and their history?  We have  Steps in Time: Ninety Years of Metroparks, Serving Summit County by Sarah Vrandenburg (2012), which details the (then) ninety year history of the system through interviews, photographs, and archival material that presents a people-oriented look at the trails and conservations areas that make up the parks, which see an average of over four million visitors each year.  Along the Towpath: A Journalist Rediscovers the Ohio and Erie Canal is a collection of reporter Al Simpson’s six-year series of articles (1964-1970) meant to generate public interest in parks and canals and includes historical information on park developments in Stark and Summit counties.  For hikers looking at the Summit Metro Parks and beyond, we have 60 Hikes within in 60 Miles, Cleveland: Including Akron and Canton by Diane Stresing, which describes trails throughout northeast Ohio, including hiking time, difficulty, scenery descriptions, traffic, wheelchair accessibility, maps, and nearby activities. Whether you are looking for a short walk close to home or a day trip to unexplored territory, the library has the books you need to make your plans.


Book Benches


Books take a seat

Ever love a book so much that you want to climb inside it?  A recent literacy campaign in London, England is allowing people to not quite climb into, but at least sit upon representations of some well loved books.   The program has colorful book themed benches popping up all around town where Londoners can relax, perched on top of colorfully painted ‘open-book’ benches.  The National Literacy Trust in the UK has partnered with Wild in Art to bring book benches to the city of London through a program called Books about Town.

The program celebrates London’s literary heritage as well as local artists.  Each bench is painted to represent a different book, or book series.    Benches are to be displayed until mid September and then they will be auctioned off to raise money to support literacy in the UK.

Book bench Agatha Christie

Book bench Agatha Christie


Book bench Importance of being Ernest

Book bench Importance of being Ernest

Book bench James Bond series

Book bench James Bond series

Book bench Jeeves and Wooster

Book bench Jeeves and Wooster

Book Bench Mrs Dalloway

Book Bench Mrs Dalloway

Book bench Sherlock Holmes back

Book bench Sherlock Holmes back

Book bench Sherlock Holmes front

Book bench Sherlock Holmes front


You can read more about the project on their website:


Or you can follow their Twitter feed and see Londoners finding and using the benches.


Photo credits: Lisa Davis, London, UK.


Teen Programs – Fall 2014



GRADES 6-12 @ 3:30

Guitar Hero Tuesdays

Wii Wednesdays

XBox 360 Thursdays

No programs Sept 25, Oct 23, or Nov 20


Young Adult Parents Group

Thursdays, September 11, October 9, November 13


Join us for story time with your children while learning about parenting styles and positive discipline. Geared towards teen parents. Expectant parents welcome as are supportive friends and family.  Open discussion is encouraged. Refreshments provided.


Bullying Prevention Community Meeting

Tuesday, September 30, 6pm

Join Tess Flannery, J.D., associate director of Catholic Charities Community Services of Summit County, to discuss bullying dynamics, characteristics of students who engage in bullying behaviors and students who are bullied and how to prevent it. For parents, students, teachers and anyone in the community concerned with bullying.

The Vampire Talk

Tuesday, October 28, 6:30pm

Join local author Mark Dawidziak, for a presentation on Count Dracula, the current vampire boom and the enduring appeal of the undead. Mr. Dawidziak is the author of several vampire-centric books and also teaches the Vampires on Film and Television course at Kent State university. Books will be available for purchase and signing.


Story Times for Fall 2014


Baby Time

Mondays, Sept 15 – November 3, 6:30pm

Ages 6-24 months and their caregiver


Toddler Time

Tuesdays, September 16 – November 4, 10:30am

Ages 2-3 years and their caregiver


Story Time

Mondays, September 15 – November 3, 10:30am

Thursdays, September 18 – November 6, 6:30pm

Ages 2 – 6 years

No need to register. Call 330-784-2019 for more information


NEW! Sensory Story Time

Second Saturday of each month, September 13, October 11, November 8, 10:30am

This program offer educational, literacy, and social opportunities for children of all ages with differing abilities, their siblings, parents/caregivers and their typically developing peers through the use of story, music and movement to engage the participants. Sensory Story Time includes a schedule board, a consistent program plan at each location and sensory opportunities. A call to reserve a spot is appreciated, but not required.




Children’s Programs – Fall 2014


Children’s Programs

Let’s Play

Thursdays, Sept 18, Oct 2, 16, Nov 6, 20 10:30am
Ages 1-4
Have fun playing with library friends, make a craft and participate in learning activities. Caregivers will have a supportive environment to discuss issues related to young children. No registration required.


After School Fun

Ages 4-12 years. Please call to register for September and October programs. 330-784-2019
Thursdays, 4pm
Sept 25th –  Party! Celebrate the library 140th anniversary with games, crafts and root beer floats!
Oct 23rd – Lego Party!
Nov 20th – Magic with David Anthony!
Dec 4th – *Special Time 6-8pm  Holiday open House! Fun for the whole family! FREE photo with Santa!