Haley - Programs Specialist

Flurry of Chaos and Giggles

Hello everyone! I'm Haley, a Programs Specialist in the Programming and Outreach department at MCL with two staff baking awards under my belt. I help develop the centralized programs for our 12 branches including learning kits, trivia nights, board game nights, large family events and SRC. My undergraduate degree was in Arts and Technology from the University of Texas at Dallas where I focused on video editing and motion graphics for educational purposes and have used it on occasion while working for the library. I’m very gregarious, outgoing and love to be on the stage so you may have seen me at storytimes, as emcee for events, and on our social media. Currently, I’m in my third semester at Emporia State University pursuing my MLIS.

On a more personal note, I’ve got a wonderful husband and two dogs. I typically read fantasy and sci-fi novels with a heavy splash of graphic novels, but occasionally venture out into magical realism and non-fiction. I’m a self-proclaimed geek and love casually playing puzzle and role-playing games on my Switch, participating-in and talking about tabletop games, board games, and watching various things on YouTube. I hate beetles, the texture of raw coconut, and being alone for long periods of time.

Tuning Into the Great A'Tuin: A Guide to Starting Discworld

Terry Pratchett’s "Discworld" series can be absolutely daunting with 41 novels written over the course of 32 years. If you're a fan of odd British humor, fantastically imaginative worlds, and a sprinkling of social commentary, then the Discworld may be your cup of tea. Though, with the amount of material that it offers, it may be more like a bucket of tea.

Discworld has…

<p>Full disclosure: I had a wonderful pet dog many moons ago named after the main character of this book, Rincewind. He was one of the best dogs I have ever had and as such, I have very fond memories of this title as well despite the fact that I think it may be one of the weaker first books.</p>
<p>"Equal Rites" is truly a book about feminism with a fun and sassy cast and is full of the same wonder and whimsy that Pratchett is loved for.</p>
<p>Mort was my first introduction to Pratchett and Discworld. It was such a fun and interesting take on the traditional reaper figure that I just flew through it.</p>
<p>This book is usually touted as the favorite Discworld novel in the circles I run in and for good reason. NPR even describes it as a "solid entryway" into the series. (My favorite is still Mort though.)</p>

I Don't Get It...

I hope I'm not the only one that has picked up a book, settled down for the night to read, opened it up and... just did not click with it. I want to read it! I want to enjoy it! But sometimes the book's just so much smarter than me. These are books that I want to read, or have read, but left me feeling more confused than anything else.

<p>So many people I know enjoyed "Station Eleven," and I thought I did too! But, after the smallest bout of introspection, I realized that I have no earthly idea what the point of it actually was.</p>
<p>Gene Wolfe has been called "the Melville of science fiction" and many know of his great rambling works and unreliable narrators. I was introduced to Wolfe by his "Solar Cycle" books, but even then everything he says goes over my head. But, I so desperately want to understand and finish the fantastic stories I know he's created.</p>
<p>Futuristic hackers, virtual reality samurais, and pizza deliveries makes "Snow Crash" sound like the perfect book for me. But, for some reason, my brain absolutely short circuits when trying to digest this novel. Maybe one day I'll get a brain update and be able to finally finish it.</p>
<p>The "Malazan Book of the Fallen" series is everything an epic fantasy wants to be. Sprawling character list, fascinating setting, other worldly villains, mysticism and intrigue, and 10 lengthy tomes. So, why did it take me eight years to finish the first book, despite enjoying many aspects of it? Who knows... Brains are dumb.</p>

Virtually on My Nightstand

I absolutely adore eReaders. I have a Kindle Paperwhite and read basically every night on it. But, eBooks can get expensive! Thankfully, Mid-Columbia Libraries has a huge eBook collection available through Overdrive! You can check things out straight to your Kindle, iPad, smartphone or other gadget with your library card! This is a list of the mishmash of eBooks that I'm currently…

<p>I am currently on the second book in this three book bundle as of Sept. 11, 2019. I am a huge fan of Abercrombie's work. He writes great sweeping epics and has very interesting and flawed characters that you'll enjoy following along and rooting for!</p>
<p>This is a great beginning to an interesting sci-fi series. I really enjoyed book one, but the second and third are also fantastic. If you like interesting and strong characters, definitely check this out!</p>
<p>I'm currently reading this, and it is a weird book. But, it is fascinating, especially if you have a garden or are interested in colony collapse or bees in general.</p>
<p>"Lair of Dreams" is the second in a series by Libba Bray set in the Roaring Twenties and follows a diverse group of people with supernatural powers. Bray writes very seductive, other-worldly psychological horror with fascinating premises.</p>

Picturesque Picture Books

Picture books aren't always for toddlers or young'uns. I am often blown away by the talent of the illustrators of these books and can't help picking up just a few to flip through just to look at those pretty pictures (despite not having any kids)! These are some of my personal favorites where the art just brings me joy and excitement, and usually you get a cute story to boot!

<p>The author and illustrator who inspired me to make this list. He's also well known for his work, "The Dot." I love absolutely everything he has done.</p>
<p>An adorable story about family and fitting in with a distinct visual style!</p>
<p>Those wide eyes... I love the idea of reading this book to a child for a storytime and having them try so hard to have a staring contest with them!</p>
<p>A creative, hands-on approach to illustrations! Using pictures of sculptures is a fabulous idea and will make you want to go find some clay to play with yourself!</p>

Sage Advice: Best Cookbooks Your Library Card Can Buy

Recipe for Finding Cookbooks


  • 1 Non-Fiction Section 
  • 1 MCL Library Card
  • Free Thyme Time


  1. Set Non-Fiction Section to 641-642
  2. Separate unwanted books from wanted books
  3. Whip through wanted books throughly to ensure actual wanting
  4. Let set in arms or bag until ready…
<p>This was given to me and I absolutely love it. Everything turns out beautiful looking and is absolutely delicious, but you may want to take the entire afternoon to make these. While they aren't complicated, they can be lengthy feeling.</p>
<p>Asian cuisine and culture have always been fascinating to me. This book ties the two together and shows you not only how to make the recipes, but where the ingredients come from.</p>
<p>My mother-in-law turned me on to the Moosewood cookbooks, and so I checked out just about every Moosewood cookbook MCL had. I wound up buying this book after checking it out because I loved every single recipe.</p>

Thought Bubbles and Grawlixes

Sometimes the sheer number of volumes of a comic book series or graphic novels on a library shelf can be intimidating. Or, it's frustrating when 40 people have a hold on the first issue. These are some of my favorite graphic novels that don't go on forever or switch universes or undo what was written. I especially enjoy them for their art, how they present their…

<p>This is probably my favorite graphic novel right now. It's got a great setting, interesting characters, a strong female lead and fantastic art.</p>
<p>I adored this geeky anthology of ladies sharing what they love, the struggles that come with that love, the passion they have for humans, aliens, and fiction. Many of the stories echoed my own childhood and coming to terms. However, this is definitely an adult book with swearing and some personal, steamy scenes.</p>
<p>Johnny Wander started as a webcomic and features the life of author and illustrator Ananth and Yuko and what goes on in their remarkably clever brains. For more of their stories, check out "Lucky Penny" or their web site!</p>
<p>"Hyperbole and a Half" is a fantastic, hilarious roller-coaster of a ride through a wild child's mind, imagination, and what they turn out like as an adult. I love Allie Brosh and totally relate in some form or fashion to every story she has written.</p>