Little Free Libraries are all the rage

Know of one? Email editor Jim Rossow at

The first time Susan Laesch saw a Little Free Library, in Seattle, Wash., she fell in love with it.

After returning to Champaign, she "nagged" her husband, Wally, and their son, Danny, to build one for the front of their home in the 1000 block of West Union Street.

C-U haiku, July 31, 2016

By Jim O’Brien, Ann Hart and Will Reger

party nominees

string history together

the minotaur roars

— Jim O'Brien, Saint Joseph

Submissions may be made to with C-U haiku in the subject line. Include your name and city, which will be published with your haiku. Submissions may be edited.

Ask 'Mimi,' July 31, 2016

Did former UI Professor John Jennings win an Eisner Award?

Yes, he and co-editor Frances Gateward won the Eisner for Best Academic/Scholarly Work for "The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art" (Rutgers University Press).

Jim Dey: Inside baseball

Major League Baseball has never been stronger.

Television revenues are soaring, team franchise values have skyrocketed, players and owners are rolling in dough.

Things are so good neither team owners nor players can imagine a strike that would ruin things for everyone.

Pittman named director of Champaign library

CHAMPAIGN - The Champaign Public Library Board removed the "interim" tag from Director Donna Pittman's title on Friday morning, appointing her to permanently lead the four-star library.

What's in a name? Clara Lane

Today, the Champaign Public Library is expected to name a new director. When that director is selected, chances are she will drive or walk on Clara Lane, the road outside the library's main doors.

When the new library was built and opened in 2008, it received $3 million in donations. One single gift came from an anonymous donor in the amount of $1 million.

Ted Kooser: An American Life in Poetry, July 24, 2016

By Ted Kooser/U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-06

Dorianne Laux, who lives in North Carolina, is one of our country's most distinguished poets, and here's a poignant poem about a family resemblance. It's from her book "Smoke," from BOA Editions.

Ray at 14

Bless this boy, born with the strong face

of my older brother, the one I loved most,

Susan McKinney: Alternative history worth checking out

Simone Zelitch has written an alternate history novel that uses an actual book as the basis for that alternative.

In 1896, Theodor Herzl wrote "Der Judenstaat." In this book, he proposed an answer to the "Jewish Question" of a Jewish state.

C-U haiku, July 24, 2016

By Jim O’Brien, Ann Hart and Will Reger


The mind weaves patterns

wind on leaves in bright moonlight

seeing you everywhere

— Steve LaVigne, Columbia, Mo.