St. Louis County Library

Greenwood Cemetery Preservation Association

The St. Louis County Library will explore the disappearance of African-American sites in the region at a presentation tonight.

The panel discussion is the third event in the library's "We Are St. Louis” series exploring the nuanced identities of the region’s residents. It will be held at the Lewis & Clark branch in north St. Louis County.

The Cliff Cave branch of the St. Louis County Library system reopened on Sept. 21, 2016, after renovation work. That included the children's area, pictured here.
(Photo courtesy of St. Louis County Library)

Phase two of a project to replace or renovate 19 of the 20 St. Louis County Library brancheis set to get underway this month.

The first phase of what’s called the “Your Library Renewed” campaign included 11 projects throughout the county. Kristen Sorth, library system director, says that work cost about $58 million, which came from a 2012 property tax increase. Phase two will cost about $79 million.

Laura Polak and her niece Ruby take part in Lap Time at St. Louis County Library's Grant's View branch.
Provided | St. Louis County Library

Whether mom reads “Goodnight Moon” before bedtime every night for a month, or grandpa helps the kids check out seven new books each week, St. Louis County Library wants to make sure babies and toddlers are getting exposed to lots of different words.

To encourage parents to start reading to children early and often, the library launched a program Monday called 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten.

LWYang | Flickr |

Summer is in full swing and whether you’re looking for a book to read poolside, at the park, or just staying indoors to get away from the heat, we’ve got you covered.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with three local book experts about what they’re recommending as the top summer reads. We also heard from listeners who shared their favorite summer reads so far. 

Five suggestions from Kris Kleindienst, co-owner, Left Bank Books:

Fifteen-thousand newborns will get free books and a tote bag of swag as part of the St. Louis County Library's expanded "Born to Read" program.

A St. Louis County Library program that gives books to newborns to boost early childhood literacy is doubling in size this year.

St. Louis County Library

A new local organization wants to get the conversation about race and racism started with a group you may not expect: young, white families in St. Louis. We Stories: Raising Big-Hearted Kids is using children’s literature to “create conversation, change and hope in St. Louis” with the aim of making St. Louis more inclusive.

Seven-year-old Phoenix Torno checks out his own reflection in the telescope's internal mirror, while his younger brother Bodhi tries to get in on the action.
Véronique LaCapra|St. Louis Public Radio file photo

Libraries throughout the St. Louis area will soon have more telescopes available for checkout.

The St. Louis Astronomical Society put 29 telescopes together over the weekend, bringing the total number of telescopes at area libraries to 88 by March 17.

St. Louis County Library

Uh-oh. You just found a long-overdue library copy of “Hop on Pop” wedged deep under your child’s bed, and you don’t relish the thought of paying as much in fines as it would have cost to buy the book in the first place.

If the book was checked out from the St. Louis County Library, you can relax. As of New Year’s Day, the library has decided that children’s books, CDs and DVDs are exempt from overdue fines.

The teen area of the newly renovated Indian Trails library branch, which is reopening on Monday, Nov. 23, 2015.
Provided | St. Louis County Library

Some St. Louis County library patrons may soon have to temporarily switch branches. The library system is in the process of opening or re-opening six locations while closing another five for renovations.

Robert Knudsen, White House Press Office (WHPO), Wikimedia Commons

Betty Boyd Caroli is an expert about the first ladies of the United States. She’s turned her biographer’s eye toward the Roosevelt women, Michelle Obama and even Hillary Clinton. She most recently released a biography about Lady Bird Johnson, the first lady to the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson. It is called “Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage that Made the President.”

The exterior of the new Lewis & Clark branch of the St. Louis County Library.
St. Louis County Library

In 2014, historic preservationists and community members called for the preservation of St. Louis County Library’s Lewis & Clark branch, designed by noted architect Frederick Dunn. Activists said that branch was the most architecturally significant in the county library’s system. Also at stake were stained glass windows, created by artist Robert Harmon with Emil Frei Studios, depicting Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and Sacajawea on their famed Westward expedition.

St. Louis County librarian Gina Sheridan shared 200 of her favorite books.
Alex Heuer

Whether it’s lounging on a favorite chair inside on a rainy day or laying out by the pool on a warm summer’s day, a book is perfect for either scenario.

And, hoping to instill a love of reading, one St. Louis librarian has compiled a list of 200 of her favorite books—in a book!

Gina Sheridan is the self-described “incurably curious” manager of the St. Louis County Library’s branch in Clayton. She’s also the author of “Check These Out: One Librarian’s Catalog of the 200 Coolest, Best, and Most Important Books You’ll Ever Read.”

Former Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.)
Michael Halsband / (Provided by the St. Louis County Library)

Former Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) served in the U.S. House of Representatives for more than 30 years. In 2011, Frank announced he would not seek re-election in 2012.

“I was born with the ability to make people laugh and to enjoy humor. It has served me by keeping me sane,” Frank told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh during an interview recorded last Friday at the St. Louis County Library.

Barney Frank is the author of a new book, “Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage.”

A mobile library finds a home In Spanish Lake

Mar 15, 2015
Emanuele Berry | St. Louis Public Radio

A new traveling library is calling Spanish Lake home. St. Louis County Library's Sweet Reads Program has graduated from minivans to a bookmobile.

Started in the summer 2013, the Sweet Reads program delivers books to Spanish Lake, a library desert.

Daniel Handler
Meredith Heuer

Go ahead; call David Handler’s work weird and bizarre. He’ll thank you.

Handler has written novels for adults as well as two series for children written under the pen name Lemony Snicket. His latest novel, “We Are Pirates,” is for adults, but it’s still quirky.

A new program at St. Louis County Library will give as many as 8,000 babies born in 2015 books to encourage early childhood literacy.
June Hymas, via Flickr

A new program aimed at promoting early childhood literacy is giving free books to newborns, starting in January.

Through its "Born to Read" program, St. Louis County Library plans to give the new parents of as many as 8,000 babies born at four participating hospitals in 2015 a gift bag, including: a board book, a bath toy, a milestone marker describing where children should be developmentally, instructions on how to get a library card,  and a calendar of literacy activities. 

Juggling Jeff performs at the Lewis & Clark library branch
St. Louis County Public Library | Dave Moore

Several community organizations are using the Thanksgiving holiday to give back -- especially in the wake of the unrest in Ferguson.

That includes the St. Louis County Public Library system, which has been offering special events this week for north county students whose schools have been closed because of the unrest in Ferguson.

Officials decided to restart the program after first offering it in August.

Author Joe Johnston
Courtesy of the St. Louis County Library

From the Louisiana Purchase through the Civil War, Missouri was shaped by vigilante justice.

“The state was filled with people before there were laws and lawmen,” author and historian Joe Johnston told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Tuesday. Johnston’s latest book, “Necessary Evil: Settling Missouri with a Rope and a Gun,” chronicles the implications of vigilantism in the state.

Missouri was part of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. After Louisiana became a state in 1812, the area became the Missouri Territory.  

Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Poet Richard Blanco is best known for “One Today,” the poem he wrote and read at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration in 2013. Blanco was the first Latino, first immigrant and first openly gay writer to be commissioned as an inaugural poet.

Twelve-year-old Ben Gremaud gets a preview of one of the telescopes at the St. Louis County Library, with the help of the St. Louis Astronomical Society's Don Ficken. If you look closely, you can see the library reflected in the telescope's mirror!
Véronique LaCapra|St. Louis Public Radio

Starting Nov. 10, you’ll be able to check out something a little unusual from some St. Louis-area public libraries: a telescope.

The program is a collaboration between the St. Louis Astronomical Society and public libraries in the city of St. Louis,  Kirkwood, University City and St. Louis County.

Anyone who is at least 18 years old and has a valid public library card and state I.D. will be able to check out a telescope for free for one week.

Emanuele Berry

A white van travels though the Spanish Cove apartment complex in North St. Louis County. On top of the vehicle a loud speaker blasts classic ice cream truck tunes. The van pulls over on the side of the road. The driver flings open the doors to reveal a wide selection of … books.

The St. Louis County Library’s Sweet Reads program provides a traveling collection books to Spanish Lake residents during the summer. This is the program’s second year.

Starting this fall, however, the program will run year long.

St. Louis County Library

In 2012 St. Louis County voters approved a $.06 tax increase to fund a capital improvement plan for the St. Louis County Library. As Phase I of the project gets underway, the library’s new director Kristen Sorth was Don Marsh’s guest on St. Louis on the Air to discuss the project and new initiatives at the library.

Screen shot

Starting May 5, the St. Louis County Library system will be the first in the area to offer instant streaming of movies, TV shows, music and audio books.

All a person needs to access the system is a county library card, the PIN number he or she received a couple of years ago and an email address. The streaming is available through hoopla, and people can sign in through the library’s emedia site. (

Provided by Modern STL

The potential of a merger between the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County has prompted lots of talk about differences and similarities between the two.

Here’s just one example. Both have public library systems. Each has a very different philosophy when it comes to balancing upgrades and improvements of their buildings with historic preservation.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Eric Button is no stranger to implementing new programs at St. Louis County Library. In 2011 Button, assistant director of branch services, helped the county library start “floating” collections:  Books recirculate at the library branch where they were returned regardless of where they were checked out. The concept helped the library manage an increased circulation in the midst of reductions in staff numbers. Button was recognized on Google's Government Transformers website for his effort.

Caroline Kennedy and her brother John grew up in a culture of words and reading.  Their mother was particularly fond of poetry dating back to experiences as a child with her Grandfather.  On gift-giving holidays, she requested that her children select and recite a poem rather than purchase a gift, which helped them develop a sense of language and rhyme.

Dave Moore

Former Vice-President Al Gore appeared at the St. Louis County Library on Saturday, February 9 to open the Buzz Westfall Great Authors Series.  He spoke to a sell-out crowd of 800 about his new book, "The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change." Host Don Marsh introduced Gore and engaged in a discussion with him following the talk.