Staff Profile

Chris Breitenbach

Advisory Services Specialist

Patron Engagement

Blog Posts

How Technology Changed the Movies: Especially Sound and Color

Take a look at how movies and technology have changed over the years.

Keep reading

Beginner's Guide to World Cinema

Enjoy this introduction to the joys of world cinema.

Keep reading

Local Election Information

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

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

Songs of Existence

Music that evokes the drama, heartache, struggle, liberation, and beauty of queer lives.

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

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

Books about Connection and Belonging

The recent U.S. Surgeon General's advisory report “Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation,” offers a compelling reminder of our fundamental need for social connection. These books from our collection explore the ways in which strong personal and community connections enrich our lives, fostering deeper relationships, better health, and a greater sense of belonging.

View list

Recent Books about Covid-19

This year has seen a number of interesting, thoughtful books published about the Covid-19 pandemic. I know that personally, when I look back at the events of the last 2½ years, I’m still trying to make sense of just what happened. I’m grateful to these authors for trying to do just that, by shedding light and giving context to those turbulent times and the long wake we’re still churning in.

View list


These books provide an introduction to anxiety. Produced in collaboration with the Douglas Center and MCC.

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

Interior Design Inspiration

I’ve always been curious about the subtle ways interior design affects our mental and physical well-being. Access to natural light, the materials we use to furnish a room, the colors we paint our walls--these can all play an often unconscious role in fostering how connected, safe, productive, or rested we feel. Here are some interior design books that offer inspiration and guidance on how to create places that reflect, inspire, sustain, and even grow with us.

View list