Staff Profile

Chris Breitenbach

Advisory Services Specialist

Patron Engagement

Blog Posts

Local Election Information

Dig a little deeper into local elections and learn more about this spring's races.

Keep reading

Help with the Headlines: National Climate Assessment

The second volume of the National Climate Assessment was released last month. Reference Librarian Chris highlights some key points in its findings.

Keep reading

Help with the Headlines: The Man Booker Prize

A graphic novel makes the longlist for the Man Booker literary prize for the first time ever. Reference Librarian Chris helps us explore some of the history behind this headline.

Keep reading
View all blog posts


Found in Translation

According to some polls, average American film-goers shy away from movies with subtitles. But we know that Skokie Public Library patrons are above-average! So here are 10 accessible (and wonderfully entertaining!) foreign films for those ready to adventure forth into the bounty of goodness that is World Cinema.

View list

EDM: An Electronic Dance Music Primer

After the infamous “Disco Demolition Night” at Chicago’s Comiskey Park in 1979, American dance music went underground. But the last decade has seen it return to the mainstream with a vengeance. Here, then, is a primer, of some of the best Electronic Dance Music (EDM) the library has to offer.

View list

I’m Not Crying, You’re Crying

Some movies, despite our best efforts, make us cry. Tearjerkers, weepies, melodramas, and perhaps most pejoratively, the chick-flick, these films are often oppressively fine-tuned to elicit our sorrow. Here are some movies that earned my own recalcitrant tears.

View list

Best Books and Movies of 1971

1971 is my birth year. That would be, let's see...well, it's several decades ago now. I've been thinking a lot about that year, 1971. Richard Nixon was president, the war in Vietnam was still raging, Starbucks opened its first store, and both Missy Elliot and Winona Ryder were born, so I'm in good company. What follows is a smattering of some of the books and films first published or released in that tumultuous year, some 50 years ago.

View list

Relaxing Albums on Hoopla

Ambient, mellow, calming music for dreaming. Here are a few of my favorite albums for relaxing and floating downstream.

View list

Summertime Bossa Nova

I’m a huge fan of bossa nova--the summery, jazzy, intimate, samba-inflected Brazilian music that cut a quirky swath through late '50s and '60s popular music. Perfect music for breezy summer nights, Hoopla has several classics available for streaming. Here are a few I think you’ll enjoy.

View list

Summer Afropop

Made up of 54 countries, each teeming with its own individual histories and rich musical traditions, it’s impossible to offer anything but the most rudimentary glance at the wealth of amazing recorded music that emerged from the continent of Africa over the last half-century. Here are a handful of wonderful, lilting albums, perfect for backyard barbecues, introspective star-gazing, or just chilling in the hammock.

View list

Autumn Movies

George Eliot once wrote, “Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” How about successive films set in or around autumn? What follows is a small harvest of some of cinema's most colorful offerings.

View list

Run for President

What in the world drives somebody to actually want to be President of the United States? Ambition, sure, but a level of hubris not found in most. Here is a selection of books exploring this strange, seemingly all-consuming quest to reach the White House.

View list

National Poetry Month

Any day, any month is a good time for poetry, and we have an expansive collection to choose from. Here are a few of my favorite works of poetry from the last few years.

View list