Category Archives: Uncategorized

12 – Retro Gaming

This month, co-hosts Danny Rice and Marion Archer (and even Unofficial Sound Engineer Rob, at one point!) talk with a few local business owners and experts about different types of, “Retro Gaming”.  Whether this means classic arcade games, tabletop and/or card games, or pinball, we wanted to better understand why these gaming styles are experiencing a resurgence in our modern, technologically-oriented world.

Joining us are Jason Pacey (owner of 8 Bit Arcade), Jamie Mathy (owner of Red Raccoon Games), and Marion herself (who is the member of a pinball league in Chicago!).

8 Bit Arcade: 236 E Front St, Bloomington, IL

Red Raccoon Games: 309 N Main St, Bloomington, IL

11 – Zoos and Wildlife Conservation

This month’s episode of Shelf Understanding focuses on efforts by two local organizations who care for both exotic and native animals.  Host Danny Rice and this month’s co-host Marion Archer talk to Adrienne Bauer of Wildlife Prairie Park and Jay Tetzloff of the Miller Park Zoo.  We’ll learn about conservation efforts at both locations and how the zoo’s snow leopards get along (spoiler alert: surprisingly well).  Ever wanted to know what a spider monkey does when handed a lime?  Listen to find out!

Related websites:


10 – Cyber Security

On this month’s episode of Shelf Understanding (where you can really learn to understand yourshelf), host/librarian Danny Rice talks with cyber security guru Craig Yarbrough about the primary types of malware, how you can protect yourself from “Bad Guys”, and how emerging technologies will also lead to additional vulnerabilities.  But fear not!  Because we will also help you arm yourself against those trying to compromise your information.

09 – The West Bloomington Revitalization Project

This month on Shelf Understanding, librarian/host Danny Rice talks with Deborah Halperin and Karen Schmidt from the West Bloomington Revitalization Project about all of the wonderful things that the WBRP is doing in our community.  From the Tool Library, Book Bike, and Veggie Oasis to the Bed/Bench Blitz and Home Restoration Project, the WBRP is certainly making a splash.

08 – Comics & Graphic Novels

Do you think Comics and Graphic Novels are just for nerds?  Do you think they’re just for little kids?  Do you think people who enjoy books with illustrations are bad at reading?  Well, join host Danny Rice this month as we buck all of the stereotypes surrounding this genre of literature.  Danny talks with “nearly professional” comic author/artist Andrew Lorenzi and Librarian/huge comic fan Jesse Wyer about the joys, stigmas, and future of Comics and Graphic Novels, and Unofficial Sound Engineer Rob even chimes in once or twice!

07 – Erik Larson Interview

Bloomington (IL) Public Library is bringing New York Times bestselling author Erik Larson to Bloomington on April 12, 2017, to discuss his book, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed Americaduring a free author presentation at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.

This month on Shelf Understanding, host Danny Rice and Larson go over Larson’s methods and his inspiration via telephone. We learn that a stumbled-upon footnote noting the debut of Juicy Fruit Gum during the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 inspired Larson to write The Devil in the White City which highlights the true tales of two men at the time of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Interwoven in the book’s pages is the story of Daniel Burnham, the architect who is charged with constructing the fairgrounds and all its buildings, as well as the story of H.H. Holmes, a serial killer who used the backdrop of the fair to lure people to their deaths.

And though he’s not a fan of heights, Larson assures us that he would have found a way to ride the very first Ferris Wheel which debuted at the 1893 Fair as “competition” to the Eiffel Tower which was unveiled at the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris. One must understand that this is not today’s Ferris Wheel; this Ferris Wheel could carry 2,160 people per rotation.

06 – Virtual Reality

Often, technology advances faster than we can keep track.  Virtual Reality is one such example, so let’s get to the bottom of what makes this tech craze so appealing.  We’ll also look into some of its more meaningful uses, and try to defuse a virtual time bomb.  “Try” being the key word…

05 – There Is No Average Person

Everyone learns differently.  But did you know that your brain might learn differently simply based on your given situation?  Join host Danny Rice, librarian Rachel Park, and Heartland Community College professor Zach Petrea as we discuss a new way of learning, teaching, and thinking: Universal Design For Learning.





04 – Tiny Houses

This month, Shelf Understanding host Danny Rice discusses Tiny Houses with contractor Mike Robinson, a member of a local makeshift task force that is working with the City of Bloomington to reshape zoning laws in an effort to provide space for tiny houses for those in need of housing. Robinson is part of a team that constructed a 156-square-foot Tiny House which is now touring local sites. Rice also talks with Tiny House dwellers, Clare and Armondo Báez, organic farmers who spent nine months living on a 240-square-foot Skoolie – a 1973 Crown Coach School Bus – with their two sons who are both under the age of 5.


Related websites:

    Follow Clare & Armando Báez
    Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farmers – an international organization that facilitates placement of volunteers on organic farms
    Learn about using a school bus as a tiny house.

03 – Puppetry

On this month’s edition of Shelf Understanding, our librarians are talking about puppetry with Samantha Anne Maggio who co-owns Suspended Belief Theater in Bloomington, IL, and with Michael Vetere, Associate Professor in the School of Theater and Dance at Illinois State University where he teaches creative drama and puppetry classes.

We love them! We’re scared of them! And you may not believe it, but there’s a Puppet Slam movement underway.